OPINION: The decision by Brazil’s state-controlled Petrobras to halt the sale of noncore assets in the country makes little sense for a company that for years has been moving away from onshore and shallow-water mature developments in order to focus on mega pre-salt projects in deep-water frontiers, with considerable success.

While Petrobras has reduced operating costs and improved profitability, Brazilian independents such as Prio, 3R Petroleum, Eneva and PetroReconcavo, as well as international oil companies including Karoon Energy, Perenco and Trident Energy, have had an opportunity to show how smaller, more focused companies can get better value out of mature assets in a Brazilian context.